Words On Birds by Steve Grinley
Many Spring Migrants Arriving This Week
May 07, 2021
By Steve Grinley
The hummingbirds and orioles have arrived this week as predicted. We had our first male hummer earlier in the week and a female also showed up a few days later. Many customers have come in this week with reports of their first hummingbirds of the season.
The orioles have started showing up as well. Two bright Baltimore oriole males appeared in our yard feasting on the grape jelly. Numerous customers have reported seeing orioles this week and at least one customer has several orchard orioles as well.
If you haven’t seen hummingbirds or orioles in your yard yet, please don’t despair. Many more will be arriving over the next several weeks as the weather warms and we get some southerly winds to help them north. Keep your feeders stocked and fresh for their arrival.
Several customers have reported seeing rose-breasted grosbeaks this week. “Our” grosbeaks haven’t made it to our yard yet, but we have our tray and large tube feeder ready with sunflower. Meanwhile, out resident cardinals and blue jays, as well the chickadees, nuthatches and titmice are enjoying the sunflower as well.
A customer from West Newbury came in and showed me photos on his phone of two male indigo buntings that were visiting his yard. He commented on how brilliant blue they were. If you are lucky enough to have indigo bunting visit, they usually find your finch feeder, preferring Nyger and millet. Some do nest in our area, but buntings often only stay only a day or two at feeders.
Warblers and vireos are also arriving. A couple of customers have had yellow-rumped warblers feeding on their suet. We have a yellow-rump come up to our deck a few times, but it hasn’t found our suet yet. We also had a parula warbler singing its buzzy song from deep within a leafed out maple tree in our front yard this morning. I wished it would move to one of the oaks that hadn’t leafed out yet, but it didn’t cooperate and went unseen.
More warblers have been spotted in our area this week including pine, palm, prairie, blue-winged, black and white, black-throated green, black-throated blue, magnolia, common yellowthroat, and northern waterthrush. Blue-headed, white-eyed and warbling vireos have been reported. More are certainly on their way.
Some bluebirds and Carolina wrens are already feeding their first broods. It is sometimes hard to keep up with the mealworms for them. (They can be very demanding!) These birds have multiple broods so if they haven’t nested in your yard yet, they still may have a second, or even a third brood.
Other birds have multiple broods as well, and many birds are just arriving to start their first nesting cycle. So you still have plenty of time to put up a bird house or two for occupancy this year. And they make great Mother’s Day and Father’s Day gifts!